hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum


11:24 PM on 04.29.2015  

Ludoaudio Cohesion - Why More Games Should be Built Around Music

transistor-21489-1920x1080.jpg

I have a challenge for you readers at home: think of your favourite games of all time. Think of the games that changed your life, be that through emotional resonance, immersive qualities, or just sheer fun. Think of those games. 

Now, think of their soundtracks. Do any of those soundtracks suck? Have you ever had an absolutely jaw-dropping interactive experience that was somewhat lacking in the music department?

Because I sure as hell haven't.

I firmly believe an awe-inspiring soundtrack is what separates "good" games from "great" games. Thomas Was Alone wouldn't have had anywhere near the emotional staying power were it not for it's charming and understated post-rock/electronica amalgamation. Mario wouldn't garner nearly as many smiles if it weren't for those insanely catchy jazz numbers. And when you think of Skyrim, doesn't that absolutely epic opening track just leap into your brain?

A good soundtrack can make or break a game. It can be what immerses the player – or what brings them out of the experience. It can be used to evoke joy, sorrow, horror, and any number of other emotions. There's a saying about horror movies: "Don't cover your eyes when you're scared, cover your ears." This is because music and sound go a long way in conveying any emotion. Even a heartwarming story can make you feel uneasy when the right kind of dissonant or uncomfortable music is applied.

Music is incredibly important in setting a mood in a visual medium, and video games are no exception.

So with that out of the way, let us get on with the point of this article: I feel like more games would benefit by being built around the music itself. I'm not talking about rhythm games, or any particular genre of "music games." I'm talking about how every genre can benefit from using music as a starting point in building an interactive world. One really could make great gaming experiences, based entirely off the emotions any particular type of music conveys. 


ID Software used to be masters of this.

When you play Doom or Quake next, take a second to listen to the soundtrack. Before doing anything else, listen to the soundtrack. The entire motif of the game is contained there. 

Doom isn't about demons. It's not about blowing things into chunks. It's a game about being as !@#$ing metal as humanly possible. The soundtrack is comprised of "homages" — straight-up plagiarism, in this case — of songs from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Slayer, AC/DC, and Judas Priest, and the game plays exactly like what would happen if those guys made a game. It's ultra-violent, full of demonic imagery, hyper-fast, cheesy as all get out, and it feels like you're actively playing inside the mind of Kerry King. Capital 'F'-ing awesome. To this day, Doom is the most metal game in existence – even with the existence of Brutal Legend.

Now, compare this to their next game, Quake. Seems very similar to Doom. You fight demons. You have familiar weapons. The level layout is still obsessed with the abstraction, rather than reality. And yet it feels like an entirely different game. Why? Because rather than being the spawn of Slayer and Judas Priest, this game takes it's inspiration from 90's music – particularly Nine Inch Nails, but also 90's grunge. Grimy. Dirty. Dark. Disturbing. Even tortured. Just like a Nine Inch Nails record.

The music alone gives it a more haunting feel. The electronic soundtrack that reinforces the unnatural feel of the Lovecraftian horrors on display. Quake II takes this even further, through the inclusion of industrial metal with grimy sci-fi. It's the gritty futurism of industrial rock / metal personified, and that's a beautiful thing.

Early ID games had to be a reflection of the developers. You got the sense that the music they were interested in at the time informed the direction of the games they made. And I love that. It works. Not only does this create artistic unity, it allows for a little insight into the minds of these artists.

These two games benefited vastly by their use of music as a starting point, and I feel like more games should do this, especially since it leads to artistic unity and cohesion. Some games still do it, or at least they feel like they do. Music is such an integral part of Transistor, for instance, that I doubt the type of music didn't inspire or at least bleed into the art direction and world a little. Transistor is set in a cyberpunk world that seems heavily inspired by the genre of modern trip hop and post rock. In fact, the entire world could be viewed as a mashup of the human side of jazz and post-rock merging or clashing with the machine-like nature of electronica. It's a fascinatingly literal interpretation of Darren Korb's excellent soundtrack, and that can never be a bad thing. 

At least, that's what I see when I play Transistor.

Let's have more games built around music. We could have an abstract horror game based around the bizzare nature of avant garde music. We could have a game with Vikings and Norse mythology — or hell, a game about pagan ideology and the purging of said ideologies from the earth — based around the concepts and sounds of black metal. Or we could make a heartwarming game about finding one's way home that is actuallyabout American folk music.

However, we shouldn't just use music to help decide on a theme. We should also use it to inform gameplay. For instance, the gameplay of the black metal game could be simultaneously aggressive and introspective. It could be violent, yet atmospheric and thoughtful, much like the genre itself.

The avant garde game I mentioned before could constantly smush different styles together in a way that is disturbing and dissonant in all the right ways. For instance, you could mix puzzle platforming with hack-and-slash, by ending the violent sections with executions where you then use the bodies as platforms, to clear a row in a Tetris-like mini-game to open a door, or use the eyes to enter a morbid hidden object game. Hell, make the protagonist a transgender clown. It's not avant garde without transgender clowns.

The possibilities really are endless, and when one part of the art can influence every other part, this makes the game feel endlessly more complete. Hopefully, we see more games that mimic the development of Doom orTransistor in the future. Games where the soundtrack is more than just a companion piece — it is the centerpiece. 

  read


9:03 PM on 04.26.2015  

Your Childhood Sucked

Are you in your mid 20's to late 30's? Was at least a month of your childhood consumed by a Final Fantasygame? Do you still have nightmares about the first time you encountered a Licker in Resident Evil 2? Do you still have the urge to punch anyone who says that Super Mario Bros. 3 isn't the best platformer of all time? Then you will know, better than anyone, that gaming has really gone to hell lately. There are no good games being made. Everything is terrible. Games stopped being good after the Playstation 2 / Playstation 1 / N64 / SNES / NES / The System That Was In Your Life As A Teenager. 

Well, you're wrong. Super Mario World is better than Super Mario Bros. 3. Oh, and the games you liked as a child totally suck.

Okay, none of this is fair. There are classic games that totally stand the test of time, like Silent Hill 2, Baldur's Gate 2, Zelda: A Link to the Past, any Mario game that isn't Mario 64, System Shock 2 if you rebind the keys, and many others. However, what do those games all have in common?

They are the classics of their generation. For every Resident Evil 2, there was an Evil Dead: Hail to the King. For every Banjo Kazooie, there was a Superman 64. Face it, as a kid, we all bought a game that looked like it was going to be the bombdiggity, but turned out to be Oddworld: Munch's Oddyssee, or Final Fantasy X, or Crash Bandicoot Twinsanity, or Mario Sunshine, or Metal Gear Solid 2, or Deus Ex: Invisible War, or Thief III, or whichever Spyro games sucked. 

The generation I grew up in sucked. Yours did too.

You can argue about how every game is the same these days, and you'll have all sorts of new folks jumping on that bandwagon. But wait. NES and SNES people: wasn't every game in your day either a platformer or a brawler? PS1 people: how many terrible survival horror games were you subjected to? PS2 people: how many terrible survival horror games were you subjected to? Oh. That trend lasted a while, eh? And while there were standouts —Silent Hill 2 and Resident Evil 2 — there were tired games like Obscure or Resident Evil Outbreak.

Really, while you might bemoan another cover-based shooter — or another military shooter, for that matter — we're actually in a similar gaming situation as when every game was Mario with a palate swap, or when every game was a Final Fantasy VII clone. The difference? They aren't aimed at you anymore. They're aimed at this upcoming generation, and that might scare you.

Games don't suck. We just aren't young anymore.

To stick the knife in further, some of the best games of all time have come out in the last generation. Look atMass Effect, and tell me games lack story. Mass Effect beats every Final Fantasy in terms of writing, hands down. Gaze upon Rayman Legends, and tell me games have lost their innocence and charm. Look at Dark Souls, and tell me games are too short or easy. Amnesia is, like, the scariest game ever made. Take that, Fatal Frame!

For every negative thing I have had to say about gaming these past few years, there have been ten things that made me smile. I can forgive EA's many issues because, drunk Tali'Zorah is like the greatest thing that has ever happened. I can overlook Final Fantasy XIII because I have Edea inBravely Default saying Mrgrgr and making me smile every damn time she does. I can try to forget about the Zoe Quinn fiasco because I'm just chilling to the Transistor soundtrack.

Those are just a few moments. Think of your favourite gaming moment from your childhood. Does it top facing Sif for the first time in Dark Souls? The big majestic wolf guarding the grave of his fallen master, the grave you've come to rob and desecrate? Does it top watching him limp in agony when you cut down his health bar, until he is barely any match for you and then killing him for a purpose that ultimately doesn't matter because the world is doomed anyway and you're basically just buying time?

Does it top holding your dead daughter in your arms in The Last of Us before learning throughout the rest of the game that said moment has created a true villain? Does it top the White Phosphorous scene in Spec Ops: The Line? I could go on, but I won't.

The last generation was pretty darn special. At the very least, it is equally as special as the ones that came before it. Gaming has come a long way, and while that doesn't diminish the amazing moments of generations past, it still means that whatever qualm you have with current change has more to do with your age and cynicism than it does the generation itself.

The last generation kicked butt. And you know what? This one will too.

  read


1:39 PM on 04.23.2015  

Ye Old First Person Shooters Do Things Better

Meet_cyberdemon.png

Usually, I'm the first person to tell nostalgia hounds how wrong they are. You know the ones. Those folks who think that their two million 2-D brawlers are somehow more diverse than our two million military shooters. The kind of people who hate how companies nickel and dime us with DLC, but remember fondly when they were nickel and dimed by arcade machines. The kind of people who owned slaves and killed foreigners as an outlet for their repressed sexuality.

Well. That got out of hand. 

Anyway, I have a certain fondness for older first person shooters. Shoot me in the foot and call me a hypocrite, but I believe that there are a lot of things they do better than the titles we currently have. I should point out that I don't believe this is nostalgia. I did not play many old school first person shooters when I was younger. Those I played in my youth are as follows: Goldeneye, Serious Sam, Timesplitters 2, Halo, and Turok. I mean hell,Doom was released when I was only one year old. Duke Nukem was released when I was four! Pretty much every other shooter I've played has been played in the last five years, so it's not nostalgia. Some older games in this particular genre do things better.

And I'm going to use examples to prove it.

PACING

Man, it sure is fun to shoot wave after wave of enemy with no time to catch your breath. It's not like things get boring when you're constantly exposed to them. Oh wait. That's exactly what happens, and that's exactly why Call of Duty: Ghosts is terrible.

Compare this with something like Half Life 2. In Half Life 2, you start the game with no weapon. Man, half of you are already bleeding out of your ears in pain at those words. "Start with no weapons? But that defies the constitution! Doesn't every baby pop out of the womb with an AK-47? Don't they learn to shoot any middle eastern people with a beard by the time they're two? No guns? They may as well be Communists!"

No, Blake's Weirdly Racist Idea of America. They do not. 

But yes, you start without a weapon. Even more surprising, it takes roughly twenty minutes to acquire one, and it's not even a gun. It'a goddamn crowbar! Instead of instantly shooting the first person you see, you are encouraged to talk to them. You are forced to explore the city, soak in the situation, and relish the environment. While doing so, your future actions are given context. You learn that aliens invaded, and won a war within seven hours. You learn that everyone on Earth is sterile because of an alien force field. You experience firsthand the oppression that most of Earth's citizens face on a daily basis.

With all this knowledge, you understand why you are fighting, and it makes each Combine death that much more meaningful.

The game is then broken up into Combat Sections and Quiet Sections. Sometimes, you're solving a puzzle. Sometimes, you're listening to exposition. Sometimes, you're simply exploring. This is what we call downtime,and it is incredibly important, and should never be left out of any medium. Especially not something interactive. Downtime allows a player to have a rest, get their bearings, and mentally prepare for the next encounter. This also allows encounters to be much more engaging, as A) you don't know when they'll take place, leaving you constantly on edge, and B) you won't tire of them as easily, allowing them to keep their potency and enjoyability throughout.

Alright, but this is just Valve right? They're like supergeniuses who made other perfect games like Portal andCounter-Strike. Older Shooters totally didn't do this. Wrong. Motherflipping Doom did this. You know the much hated Key hunting? There's a reason that exists: to break up the monotony of shooting.

So, there you go. Some older games were better at pacing. However, it doesn't stop there.

WEAPON VARIETY

You know what I love about shooting games? Shooting. You know what makes shooting even better? Weapon variety! Which is why it's a shame when I play Battlefield 3 and almost every goddamn weapon is a reskinned assault rifle. I know you're trying to be realistic game, but in the last game, I played I drove a jeep into an airborne helicopter and lived.

Where is your reality now?

Compare this to Painkiller, a game in which every gun feels completely different. There's a gun that shoots shurikens for its main attack, and lightning as a spicy alternative. There's a shotgun that doubles as one of those Things that Freezes People. There's a gun that shoots stakes at people and nails them to walls. That's variety. Every gun is different. Every gun is valuable. And every gun is fun.

Look, I know in a lot of games set in modern times that value authenticity you can't have shrink rays and explosive grannies, but you can try. Do what Half Life did and lower the amount of weapons, meaning that the ones you receive and utilize have radically different uses. Have an assault rifle that is fully automatic, one that uses burst fire, and burn the rest. Have two shotguns instead of six million. Two pistosl? That's probably all you really need. And if you want to go crazy and have a million weapons, at least make sure they feel different in some way. At the very least, make them useful in certain contexts but rubbish in others. Something.

ENEMY VARIETY

Bioshock: Infinite is boring on the second playthrough.

Once you know what happens, the awesome – and I do mean awesome – story isn't enough to hook you. The world isn't as magical as it once was, and you've explored it to your hearts content. All that's left is the gameplay, and may god have mercy on our souls that isn't much to love. 

The problem with Bioshock: Infinite is that, with a few exceptions, you're fighting the same enemy over and over again. Sure, there are a few different enemies — plasmid guys, discount big daddies, and a ghost that made me uninstall the game for a month and only reinstalled it because my girlfriend wanted to know how it ended — but mostly you're fighting police officers. Oh, but later on in the game, you get to fight black people.

This is a problem. If every enemy feels the same, there is no variety. If there's no variety, the game quickly becomes boring. If a game is boring, then why the hell am I playing it?

Contrast this with Serious Sam. In this game, there are twenty-five main varieties of enemies, some of which include subcategories. That doesn't include bosses. Every enemy behaves entirely differently. There are headless kamikazis. There are giant scorpions with machine guns, mechanoid aliens that shoot rockets at you, bulls, electric fish, giant sentient balls of lava, and more.

What makes Serious Sam so interesting is that each of these enemies are a puzzle unto themselves. They each require different tactics to defeat. They each have different weaknesses; some guns work better on some enemies. The best part? You'll often be up against several enemies at once, requiring you to adjust your tactics on the fly.

This is fun.

This is tense.

This is awesome.

 Shooting the same looking British dude over and over again is not those things.

LEVEL DESIGN

The image pretty much sums it up. Since I'm supposed to be using examples, the linear one is Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and the awesome complex one is Duke Nukem 3D.

Duke Nukem 3D has multilayered levels with secrets galore. Don't you miss secrets? Don't you miss level design that gave you options? Don't you miss when you actually remembered landmarks and used an actual map to navigate? Don't you miss not being failed for moving a fraction of an inch from where the developers intended?

Well, I do.

And shut up.

I'm not old.

  read


3:07 AM on 04.22.2015  

4 Worst Video Games Ever Made

There is obviously far too much positivity on the internet, so to counterbalance it, I thought I'd bring some bile and vitriol to the table. Some games are just terrible, and it's up to us as gamers to collectively shame the artistic visions of those far more talented than ourselves.

So, here's a list of the four worst games that have ever existed.

4. MASS EFFECT 3

1.jpg

Wow. Just wow. The cover to this game looks amazing.

I mean look at those awesome soldiers looking all awesome with their awesome weapons and awesome whatnot! I start up the game expecting to kill some aliens Halo style when I notice something is very wrong. It must be a glitch or something, but my camera was stuck behind my character. I couldn't see through my characters eyes! I couldn't feel the skull crunching agony of my enemies as I killed them.

I eventually got over this enormous issue and decided to give the game a go, but it didn't get any better. Most of this game is . . . talking. I spent more time reading than I did shooting. What is this — a book? It's ridiculous! I don't give a damn about the Serbians or the Creepers or whatever the hell I'm fighting, I just want them to die. I thought I could skip the cutscenes, but nope, turns out I have to "make decisions." Me? Make a decision? That affects other people beside myself? That's ridiculous; far too much pressure to put on a gamer.

The shooting is fun and all, but there's just not enough of it. I mean there are entire levels where all you can do is walk and talk. How dumb is that?

3. THE LAST OF US

lastofusreviewpicture1.png

Ok, so this game is made by Naughty Dog, the guys behind Uncharted — AND IT HAS ZOMBIES! I mean, Uncharted with zombies sounds like the greatest thing ever. Right?

Wrong.

In this game, you have very few bullets, which kind of impedes your ability to shoot things. Not only that, but the story is really bad. I don't play as the hero, I make zero one-liners, and the game is just depressing. Why can't it just be a cathartic killing marathon, like all video games should be? I need my characters to be heroic, to be purely good, and not be really explored much beyond their immediate comedic value and their ability to end human lives.

Also, I constantly have to babysit this little girl everywhere, and I can't even bang her. She's over 10, and if I've learnt anything from Dead or Alive, it means she's fair game! It's like fatherhood the video game. I even had to get her a fucking pony at one point.

2. SPEC OPS: THE LINE

01.jpg

This game is extremely offensive. You have to kill AMERICANS! What is this, a 9/11 simulator? AMERICANS ARE NOT THE BAD GUYS! We are the good guys! We're heroes, heroes that single-handedly defeated the Nazis, stopped the Communists, killed Osama Bin Laden, and killed Sadam Hussein! Jesus was American! You wouldn't kill Jesus would you? No, because killing Jesus dying wouldn't do any good for anyone.

The game makes me sick. It's set in Dubai as well, so you might as well play as the Taliban!

I thought this game would amazing because it was America fighting in an Arab nation. There's sand! You don't get much more patriotic than spilling bearded blood on sand! I think it's messed up that we have to resort to killing white people in video games, especially when every other ethnicity is much more clearly and objectively evil.

1. Alien Isolation

You play as a girl.

Why, oh why do I have to play as a girl? I'm not a girl. I can't sympathize with a girl. And what in the bloody hell is she doing fighting? Girls should only fight when they're naked and / or in pools of mud! Which reminds me: she is wearing far too much clothing, her boobs aren't big enough, and she looks too old. Why can't she be like the girls in Dead or Alive? Those guys know how to make a well-rounded female character!

Even worse: what if the game asks you to kiss a guy? That is DISGUSTING. It's wrong! I'm a guy, and my character could be kissing a guy! Since virtually all gamers are men, I think this game should be banned, because its clear subconscious agenda is to turn those men into raging queers. We all know what monsters the homosexuals are! Did you know they can hypnotise you with their eyes? They can also now act straight, so ANYONE you know could be gay. It's like The Thing with less murder and more, well, things.

Let's focus. Back to the game. What's worse than playing as a girl? Acting like a girl. There's a big alien thing and because I'm a girl I can't kill it. I have to run and hide in a locker and have a little cry. I kept waiting for the part where I played the real hero and came and rescued her.

It's just the worst game ever as far as I'm concerned.

 

  read


7:33 AM on 04.20.2015  

Discrimination!

You know who I hate? Gay people. They're sexist and they hate women. We should burn them. Straight people too. Are you aware that just by preferring one gender over the over you are discriminating against almost half of the population? That's pretty fucked up. Do you like intelligent people? You're an ablist fascist. Are you attracted to attractive people? You're an asshole. What about all of the wonderful uggos out there? Basically, if someone asks you for sex, you should never turn them down. Unless you're a woman, because rape is bad and only women can get raped.

You know who I love? Black people. We should treat them like everyone else. Except don't tell jokes about them. Also, don't ask them questions. Hell, don't even talk to them, because you might say something to upset them. Black people are more sensitive and weak than white people, and their brains simply cannot understand the things we can.

You know what I think? I think we should all live in perfect harmony and treat each other equally. Except women should rule, white people should be slaves, straight people should stick to masturbation and when they masturbate they aren't allowed to think of the other gender because that's OBJECTIFICATION, and that is worse than anything else you can do. Objectification is worse than slavery. It's worse than the holocaust. If you even think about a woman sexually, you are worse than Hitler if Hitler was a pedophile. 

 And if you're a woman, congratulations! You're free to do what you want. Except you should probably burn anything pink, shave your head and become a lesbian, because if you don't you're selling out your gender and you should kill yourself.

 Everyone is free to conform to the standards we set. Preach love. Preach happiness. And do it one bullet at a time.

  read


10:03 PM on 01.12.2014  

Chrono Cross Remix

Hey, I made a remix of the track Dream of the Shore Near Another World. If you could, please watch it, like it, and comment? I'd like this to get out there and get some views. I'm sorry if this seems like tacky self promotion, but I don't see any other way for people to watch it. Tell me what you thought!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNGqGwYKrGw   read


2:15 PM on 10.16.2013  

Playing Dark Souls Using My FISTS!!!

Hello, people of the internet! I'm Blake Turner, and today I am going to play Dark Souls in ways it clearly wasn't intended to be played. We're talking alternative builds here guys, and the first is one I'm lovingly referring to as "Fist Puncher." 
The rules of this build: no normal weapons. No armour except pants. Only my fists and fist based weapons. Also . . . I just realised that I won't get my first weapon until after I fight the Taurus Demon. That's right. I'm going to be taking him on with my fists. Probably in the next episode.
Sit back and Prepare To (Watch Me) Die.Also, if you like this video, please give it a like and subscribe over at The You Tubes. Gives us more exposure, and, well, I just like to know that you care about me.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3c8nRBPgEk&feature=player_embedded#t=278   read


2:36 PM on 01.24.2013  

Blakes Top 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2013 Part 1

Ok, so the first article I've written for a proper gaming site is up. I'm quite proud of it, it's a rewrite of part 1 of my top 20 games of the year. Please read it, like it and/or comment on it, but especially like it, partly because it looks good, and partly because everytime you click the like button you receive a shower of hearts! Also, read the other guys stuff if possible. They're really talented guys that write some damn interesting and witty stuff, and they have quite a unique writing voice.

Here are the links:

My Article: http://plus10damage.com/blog/2013/1/23/pbjb11ihsmqai2w3ty52cqf510krf9

The Site in general: http://plus10damage.com/   read


7:42 AM on 01.20.2013  

If Game Developers Made Movies!

Well, it's been a weird couple of years for the entertainment industry, hasn't it? After the video game industry collapsed in 2014 due to the astronomical costs of developing one level and the fact that Atari tried to make another E.T. adaptation, the few companies that weren't driven immediately bankrupt decided to turn their attentions to film. Were they a success? Well lets look back at some of my reviews of these films.



Studio: Bioware

Film: Star Wars: Epilogue Trilogy

When Disney stopped making films and became a political party who's ideals were murder ugly people, enforce racial stereotypes and ban sex, somebody had to snatch up the Star Wars license. That somebody was Bioware.

I have mixed feelings with the series. Ditching all well known character except for brief cameos seemed like a disastrous move, though fortunately for us it turned out to be genius incarnate. The first film was decent, it had a lot of charm and depth to it but it was weighed down with the need to constantly show us the character reorganising their saddle bags and learning skills. It may have added to the realism a little, but it was still bizarre and turned a lot of people off. The action scenes were kind of bland, with all of them basically being the same action scene in a different setting. Also, how many fucking times are the characters guns going to overheat in battle?
The second film was, much like in the original Star Wars series, the pinnacle. It was a masterstroke of character building and the dialogue was superbly written. It was funnier, darker, and a whole lot more was at stake. The fact that half the crew was wiped out in the final battle was a stroke of heart wrenching genius, especially since we spent most of the last two movies getting to know each and every character, their quirks and their history. The battles were significantly improved over the originals, as they were riddled with suspense and were generally pretty damn entertaining. They were still all practically the same though. It was mildly disappointing to the teenage male demographic, as the sex scene was quite a lot tamer than last time.

The third film could have been amazing. It could have been the film to end all films. It could have taken this trilogy past even the original in terms of story and character development. But it isn't, and it's all because of that god awful excuse for an ending. Seriously, the ending of this film is so pathetic that it's banned in Poland. Honestly, no ending is better than this piece of crap. Which is a shame, because the rest of the film was a masterpiece. The action scenes were finally up to scratch, the dialogue was better than ever, and the stakes couldn't possibly get any higher unless the Sith Lords were paedophiles as well as destroyers of the universe. I'm not going to ruin the ending for those of you who haven't seen it, since Bioware have already done a brilliant job at that, but don't expect anything good. Hell, don't expect it to be the worst thing ever made because you'll still be disappointed.

Overall, the series was a success. Despite it's issues, it still managed to be better than the prequel trilogy, and it came closer than ever before to capturing the original series glory. Honestly though, I don't think anybody doubted Biowares film making chops as their last couple of games were basically amazing choose your own adventure films with a shitty Gears of War clone thrown in.



Studio: Activision

Film: Present Day Hostility

Director: Michael Bay

Review Taken from: The Angry Film Guy

Reviewing this film seems pointless, because by now you've already seen this movie twelve times, named your kids after one of the main characters and pledged never to watch anything else as long as you live. This film has become the highest grossing movie of all time within the first two weeks, taking over “tits” as the most googled thing ever, and practically turning Activision into a fucking world power. It's easy to understand why, as this is a dumb film that caters almost exclusively to braindead fucktards who can only become erect if the American national anthem is playing, and since that's everyone according to Americans, we get to watch the same fucking film get released next year and the year after, as Activision have stated this will be a yearly franchise.

Honestly, I understand why young men watch this, as the film is full of explosions, gunshots, and the kind of fistpumping bravado that cause your testicles to explode, but I'm hard pressed to find a reason why its got all the critics gushing at the thighs. The most talked about scene is where the main character is dying midway through the film, alone and afraid. This is seen as genre defining, and highlighting the horrors of war, which seems highly inconsistent in a film that would drop to their knees holding a sign that says “I have no gag reflex” upon the mere mention of a conflict. The whole scene reeks of shock tactics and is forgotten within minutes, apart from a bit at the end when the characters suddenly remember their best friend had died and say things like “he is the pure embodiment of what America stands for,” apparently having no concept of syntax or actual American values.

The biggest flaw in this film is that it is paced terribly. There is almost no room to breathe, with an action scene every two seconds, each containing at least twelve explosions and each with a silent slow motion scene of an American soldier being gunned down. It reminds me of an ADHD kid who has Parkinson's disease because even if you could break this films legs and tie it to a chair it still wouldn't sit still. It constantly seems to be switching locations and character perspective, seemingly in an attempt to make their seem like theirs more plot than there actually is. Honestly, I have no idea what the fucking plot to this film is as it seems like they came up with a bunch of awesome action pieces, and paid a random janitor five bucks to fit them together.

Overall, this film is like having sex with Snookie: Sure it might be fun while it lasts but you can't help feeling that you're now at least thirty percent dumber.



Studio: Blizzard
Film: Diabolical Warcraft

Blizzard have pissed a lot of people off recently, as they have announced that their latest film Diabolical Warcraft will only ever be shown in Theatres. It will never ever be released to DVD so no one is allowed to watch it buy themselves. They figure that their film should be viewed only in the company of other people, and that introverts can just go hang themselves or whatever. What kind of bullshit wankery is this? Not every town has a cinema you know Blizzard. Whatever though, they're greedy cocks. Their next project is a tv show that comes on once a month that you have to pay $30 a month to watch, and it's basically just a guy killing the same monsters over and over again, collecting shit for other people and taking up a postal job. We're supposed to enjoy this shit?

Anyway, back to the film. Diabolical Warcraft is an Action Fantasy game that's quite repetitive, extremely shallow, and really rather dull. It's got the polish of a big blockbuster film, with the special effects and grisly death scenes all looking really nice, but the lack of a compelling narrative, terrible acting, and the same scene of the character hacking, slashing, stabbing, and magicking their way through wave after wave of enemy. I was bored after the first ten minutes, and it got so bad that half way through the film a man's phone rang and the audience encouraged him to answer it, since listening to him ramble to his girlfriend would be much more entertaining the piece of shit that was on the screen.

So who would I recommend this to? No one. There's an indie film along similar lines called Flashlight Illumination that does it much better, has a DVD release so you can watch alone or with friends, and it costs 10 bucks.



So is the current wave of gaming developers films a successful one? For the most part, I'd say no. What works in one medium doesn't necessarily work in another, and though there are a few exceptions (Square Enix's latest anime looks really good, and fans of the series have been promised the same amount of interactivity as their gaming franchises... None), for the most part it seems futile and pointless. Also, I know Bethesda have released their latest fantasy epic, but I don't have 12 hours to devote to one film, so read someone elses bloody review of it.   read


10:52 PM on 10.26.2012  

Resident Evil 6: First Impressions



Ok, this will only be a short blog, I promise. I am planning to do a seperate review of each campaigne in Resident Evil 6, but for now, I'm just going to note a few things.

First of all, what the fuck is with the prologue? It takes an unskippable half an hour to get to the main menu, meaning that those of you who bought this game and immediately rushed over to a friends house to play co-op, you're in for a nasty surprise. You play as Leon in this section, and it feels like an interactive trailer, and has more explosions than a Michael Bay movie. I was bored quickly, and kind of wished it was over.

When the prologue finally finished, I booted up Leon's campaigne, and I must say, I was impressed. The game paced itself well, creating a nice atmosphere. It was never scary, but it was nice to see that they at least put some effort into the structure and pacing.

Working my way through the first chapter I noticed that ammo and herbs were a lot rarer than previous games. Not that it mattered, because melee attacks are incredibly overpowered and can take out large groups of zombies. Well, there goes any sense of danger... The shooting mechanics work nicely though, and once you work out the dodge system, the game gets into a nice rythm that flows quite well.

Fuck Quicktime events. Fuck them to hell. Especially ones pertaining to the analogue sticks. I don't need them every time I get attacked by a zombie. They detract from the flow, and if you're overwhelmed (which happens quite a bit) it happens entirely too frequently. Also, while we're condemning things... those fucking zombie dogs are stupidly difficult to defeat. You can't really kick them, and they move too quickly to shoot. They're too difficult for this early on in the game.

Capcom, if you have one more person tell me I need to hold off a group of survivors before you let me into a room or building, I will murder you. I'm on the second chapter and it's happened at least 3 times already. Damn, this is annoying.

Also, a little work on the tutorial? I want things to be explained organically, not have to read a novel every three seconds in the first chapter. And the healing system? You have to click a herb, combine it with another herb, and another possible one after that, then turn them into tablets, then close the menu and use them ONE AT A TIME! Oh, by the way, that menu doesnt pause the game, so it can take a good 15 valuable seconds to prepare the herbs, and then you have to take them, one at a time. It wastes time and gets you killed quickly. Also, if you're controller goes flat, or disconnects, the game doesnt pause. I wouldnt mind this in a game like Dark Souls or an MMO because there is no Pause button, however, there is a pause button in this game. So uh... you chose to cut to the menu that doesnt pause the game? Wtf.

Overall, Leon's Campaign feels like it has a lot of potential, but is marred by the fact that every body who works at capcom was apparently raped in the ear by a pornstar as a child, and as such, are unable to think about anything logically. There are so many incredibly stupid decisions in the game that turn this otherwise brilliant game into a shithole. A shithole I still feel compelled to play, so maybe their intense retardation is contagious. Anyway, Come back later for my full review of Leons Campaign!   read


8:04 PM on 09.25.2012  

Top 20 Favourite Games of all time: Part 2

Well, I'm finally getting around to part 2. For my destructoid readers, it's only been a couple of days since I posted the original blog, but for my 1-up readers? It's been about 2 months. I did start to write this ages ago, but I kept changing my mind about what my top 10 games actually were. But now I've narrowed it down, and picked a definitive list of games I know will stay in here for quite some time. Also, I'm finally bored enough to actually write this fucker. Also, since some of these descriptions were getting quite long I decided to split the blog up again, just to make reading easier for you lazy cockbites. So without further ado, I bring to you MARSHAL!!!!!! Ok... If you read on I promise to never make an Eminem reference ever again...



10: Batman: Arkham Asylum: Before I start, yes this picture is from the Grant Morrison/Dave McKean masterpiece, but it's certainly a hell of a lot better than the dross that passed for the game's cover. Hell, I'd prefer a picture of a pair of shemale testicles over the crap they put on there. I almost didn't buy the game because it looked like shit. I thought, great, another in the long line of games that won't serve justice to my second favourite fictional character (First being Jesus), and will probably tarnish his name even further. Even better, they're using my favourite of his comics, and there is no way a mainstream video game could do it justice, unless it was designed by the team behind Silent Hill 3. Oh how wrong I was.

The team chose wisely to have Arkham Asylum become just a setting, and have little connection to the tone of the comic. There are still horror elements in the game, and even psychological aspects, but this is an entirely beast, and that's not a bad thing. While I would have liked more doubt in Batman's sanity, his wondering whether walking into Arkham Asylum "would feel like home," I was genuinely impressed with the overall feel of the game. Arkham Asylum felt right as a setting. The villains were well characterised and the voice acting was phenomenal. They got the atmosphere, the look, and sound of Batman right, however it would all be worth nothing if the gameplay wasn't up to scratch.

Well, the game got that right also, and for the first time in a batman game, you used a mix of stealth, combat, and detective deduction to make your way through the game, and each single element of that mix was satisfying in itself. The stealth made your heart race as you eliminated each character one by one, inducing fear into the remaining ones as they witnessed their victims fall. The combat was visceral and brutal without the need for gore. The puzzles tested your mind without being too hard. This was a true batman game, and I'm going erect just thinking about it.



9. Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2: The Playstation and nintendo 64 were the first consoles I owned. My uncle owned the sega mega drive, and my mum owned the snes. So a playstation was like a birthday present. The first games I remember playing on it were Abe's Exoddus, Resident Evil, and this. Since I was 8 (My uncle used the console more than me, hence why I had all these games I probably shouldn't have) Abe's fart jokes appealed to me, but the puzzles didn't, and while I was a fan of horror even at that young age (thank you R.L. Stine) Resident evil was far too serious and hard for me to play. So this was the game for me.

This game is so high up because not only was it a great game, but it also shaped my early teen life. The music I heard shaped my music tastes, causing me to get into bands such as Papa Roach, Rage Against the Machine, and Millencolin. That in turn had a profound effect on my music tastes now, because Papa Roach and RATM led me into Nu metal, post grunge, and hip hop; which then led Progressive rock and metal (thank you tool), which then lead to all types of metal, which lead me to get into a certain band called maudlin of the well that made me a fan of everytype of music. Also, the Pixies fit somewhere in there. They're important too.

This game didn't just shape my music tastes though, It shaped my early teen personality. I started to actually skate (until I injured my back) and fit in with the outcasts, who tried their hardest not to be mainstream. My clothes were Element and Girl (the brand, not feminine clothing) Merch, and yeah, I just kind of sunk into a skater/punk clique. Then I changed dramatically, obviously, but that's another story. It's amazing how much a game can change your life though, hey?

Anyway, not only did this game change my life dramatically, it also was just a great game. It felt great to combo, and was easy to pick up, hard to master. But most of all, it was just fun.



8. Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus: This 2d platforming gem was originally introduced to me when I was 8. My grandmother adored the puzzles and platforming (my grandmother is quite young, only 35 years older than me (she was 19 when she had mum (mum was 16 when she had me (omg there are too many brackets)))), but I originally fell in love with the game because of the farts. The fact that you could fart in the game was amusing to my 8 year old mind. The fact that you could possess your farts and use them to explode enemies was fucking amazing. Seriously, how many games let you do that? Now I find that sort of humour a bit on the nose (see what I did there?), however I still replay this game every so often. Why? The same reason as my grand mother.

See, this game is one of the most brain numbing games I've played, and the fact that the game is all about communication over violence makes it better. In a medium where you're constantly put in the shoes of a mass murdering fuckwit, it was nice to play as someone who used violence as a last resort. I mean you could murder everyone in your wake, but that defeated much of the challenge and purpose of the game. You were a saviour, not a savage.

Then there's the sheer amount of variety in the game. You could possess enemies with guns to murder other enemies with guns, you entered a rollcage car thing, you defused mines, ran away from wildlife, summoned spirits, possessed farts, solved logic puzzles with the aid of your fellow Mudokkons, participated in stealth sequences, and navigated tricky platforming sections. And I haven't even mentioned the quirky motherfuckers that inhabited the world. It was, and still is a truly unique game, and nothing quite compares to it. You should play this game!



7. Jak II: Renegade: I seem to be the only person who remembers when Naughty Dog made games, not shitty Indiana Jones fan fiction with terrible gunplay and god awful platforming and managing to get 10's across the board just by being incredibly polished. Oh... it's a platform exclusive... that explains it then. The Uncharted series dumbfounded me, because the Jak and Daxter series nailed both platforming and while not having amazing at gunplay, were still better than the dross in Uncharted. Anyway, we're here to talk about good games, so I'll stop talking about Uncharted. If you want to hear more about it, look over to my Top 10 Most Overrated Games blog, or read Joss Whedon's 10 year old Indiana Jones fan fiction.

Anyway, this game is brilliant, and along with Ratchet and Clank, showed that mascot platformers could be for adults as well as children. The game took the amazing platforming and seamless, no loading screen world, and made it into an open world, with guns and car jacking. They turned it into a dark disney version of Grand Theft Auto, and it was phenomenal. The Scifi world had hover cars, hover boards, and some of the best platforming in the business. The humour is mostly intelligent and the characters were incredibly quirky.

I've finished this game about 6 times, especially since it was a version of GTA I could play at dads, and more than that, it was actually good, it felt unique even if it did take a lot from Ratchet and Clank, and it leads me to ask one question: Why is Nintendo the only ones who do Mascot Platformers now?

Put simply: Fuck Mario. Fuck Kirby. Fuck any 3D platformer ever released because Jak 2 had them beat. Naughty Dog, go back to doing what you do best, and leave the bland, unimaginative shooters to Epic and Bungie.



Portal 2: Wow. Last year was an amazing year for games. This is the second game released last year to be included in my top 20, and there's one more coming. Also, the day Valve release a bad game will be a sad day for all.

See, the Portal games would be amazing just for their mindbending puzzles and phenomenal physics. The dark humour is just the icing on the... donut? Ah, now I remember why I can't play the first game anymore. YOU BASTARDS RUINED IT!!! If I hear one more of you anal bunny raping cum guzzlers say the words cake in the sames sentence as the word lie... well lets just say your testicals will put into a blender and you will be forced to drink it. Seriously, I have the same problem with the Monty Python films. Things are funnier the less you hear of them, and references aren't clever if they aren't part of a homage or parody, you're just stealing other peoples jokes, you talentless, kiddy fiddling cunts!

Ok, rant over. This is the main reason I prefer the second game over the perfect first game. It hasn't been ruined. The second game's humour is broader, but that doesn't make it any more intelligent. It still has that brilliantly dark humour, and now with the addition of wheatley, it has a farcical, more straightforward humour that is still brilliant in it's own right. The puzzles? Well, they aren't as good as the original, which I suppose will happen if you're trying to reach out to a wider audience. The Co-op section's puzzles are phenomenal, but I don't like co-op in puzzle games. It defeats the purpose. I want to figure shit out on my own, not have some more intelligent prick, or someone who's played it before solve them for me! Thank god for the dowloadable puzzles though. Regardless of the puzzling difficulty, however, we just don't get many games that are genuinely funny, or even remotely intelligent. It's also a point in the favour of non-violent video games. Not all AAA games need to be extraordinarily violent, and this game proves it.


There. That's part 2. Tune in whenever I can be bothered to make the next one. Now go do something productive. Ah, who am I kidding. You're on a gaming website. You don't know the meaning of the word, do you?   read


12:32 PM on 09.24.2012  

Violence in the Media: My Opinion of the Myths



Human beings tend to have a morbid obsession with death, and it's evident in every part of our lives. It's our biggest fear, the reason for religion, the basis of all medical science, and our biggest source of entertainment. In movies and video games, the greatest form of revenge is the murder of those who have wronged you. In the entertainment industry, that is justice. It can't be achieved without death. A love and fear of death is engraved into our species, so much so, that we cannot be separated. What does this mean for us? Does this make us evil, or sick and twisted? Well no. It makes us curious. It makes us human, our wanting to understand the unknown, life's greatest mystery. There are many myths out there like this, and I'm going to give you my opinion on them, because my opinion is awesome.



1: Watching Explicit Horror Movies Like a Serbian Film or Martyrs makes you sick and twisted: This is one of the ones I hear most, especially from the older generations. They don't get the fascination with films like Saw, Hostel, or Irreversible, and chalk it up to our being morbid, sick and twisted. In reality, however, it is the opposite. I find these films far less sadistic than say: Indiana Jones, James Bond, or any other film where the "Good Guy" butchers hundreds of people before a cheering crowd. Those films glorify violence. They get you to cheer for the most violent person in the film, and they desensatise you to the violence. They make it acceptable. Films like A Serbian Film show you what violence is. They show you the pain, they show you how fucked up it all is, and have a message. The message is: "See that? The guy whose genitals we just mashed up then forced him to eat? That's fucked up. Don't do that!" What's the message of Machete (well, apart from intestines being a convenient transport from floor to floor)? That violence is cool. That it's awesome to be a mass murdering psychopath.



Still, I think it's important to to realise that the vast majority of us understand that this violence is unacceptable. We aren't psychopaths. We find fake violence to be fun, but we understand that there are repurcussions for death, which is where my second point comes in.



Violent Video Games Turn Us Into Mass Murdering Psychopaths: Well, maybe watching the trailer for Dead Space 3, listening to someone trying to tell me that Gears of War isn't putrid vile we should shoot into the sun... maybe those could turn me into a mass murdering psychopath. Gameplay, however is different. Unless I'm playing a cover based shooter in which run is the same button as the cover system (which is all of them) and when I'm trying to run away from a grenade and I get locked to a wall. Or game developers thinking that we lack the basic intelligence to take cover by our fucking selves... ok, gameplay could lead me to be a killer. That's poor, frustrating gameplay, however, not the violence itself. You see, most people hate someone. They think "you know what? I could shoot that fucker. I could ram a pencil down that cunts nose, then slam his head into a table." But you see, most of us are well rounded enough to realise there are repercussions for said psychotic rage. You go to jail, you make people sad, you have to think of a long winded excuse to tell the dry cleaner... the point is, we don't do it. The murderers who use video games as an excuse? They'd be fucking psychotic without it! You see, video games are an excuse, much like the devil made me do it. It's a poor excuse at that. "Oh video games are what I used to practice for my murders." Come on, they could use chopping up vegetables as an excuse for fuck sake!


OMG! BAN THIS DEMORALISING FILTH!

My point is that without video games, we would still have mass murdering psychopaths. Video games cannot be a crux to blame mental illness or bad parenting. That's really all I have to say on this matter.

Well, this blog turned out to be a lot longer than I originally intended, so I'll exclude the other points I had. I'll save them for another blog maybe. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my article. Please don't use it as an excuse to murder anyone!   read







Back to Top